§ MR. SAMUEL SMITH (Flintshire)
I beg to ask the Financial Secretary to the War Office whether he is aware that for many years Miss Robinson has devoted herself to mission work in the Army at Portsmouth with much acceptance; if he will explain why Miss Robinson's meetings in barracks at Portsmouth have been forbidden at the request of the Chaplain, and her ladies have been refused permission to visit the hospital at Netley, and whether the Army 695 Chaplains are trying to stop the distribution of religious tracts in barracks; and whether he is aware that there exists at the present moment among many of the senior Chaplains great dissatisfaction with the conduct of the Chaplain General?
§ THE FINANCIAL SECRETARY TO THE WAR OFFICE (Mr. BRODRICK,) Surrey, Guildford
I am aware of the good work which Miss Robinson has carried on for many years at Portsmouth, and inquiries are being made with regard to the alleged interference with her meetings in barracks there. Soldiers of all denominations are treated at Netley Hospital, and the Chaplains of all denominations objected to the distribution of tracts by outside visitors on the ground that the peace and harmony now prevailing would be disturbed. The Secretary of State is not aware that there is among the Chaplains dissatisfaction with the conduct of the Chaplain General. On the contrary, the recent attacks upon him in certain newspapers have called forth spontaneous expressions of confidence in his administration from all classes of Chaplains employed under him.
§ MR. MACNEILL (Donegal, S.)
Is the hon. Gentleman aware that this Chaplain General, contrary to the Army Regulations, issued a circular to the Chaplains, in which it was stated that they must not look for any superannuation or any benefit unless they expressed their confidence in him?
§ MR. BRODRICK
I am not aware of any such circular; but if the hon. Member submits a question, I will endeavour to answer it.